Friday, February 24, 2012

ART THOUGHTZ: Performance Art

A new installment of “ART THOUGHTZ” on the subject of performance art by my favorite internet art critic, Hennesy Youngman.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization

From TED:
Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that's only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).
Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing a set of blueprints for 50 farming tools that can be built cheaply from scratch. Call it a "civilization starter kit."

I don't know if it's specifically a product of the recession or if it's a periodic generational thing, but I find it very encouraging to see more and more young college-educated people going into these very idealistic endeavors such as sustainable farming at exactly a time when small family owned farms are being put out of business left and right by large corporate owned farms.

I contrast this "be the change you want to see" kind of idealism with the cynicism of my own generation and it makes us Gen X'ers seem like a bunch of pessimistic blowhards. While I do think that the spirit of DIY was very much a part of Generation X, that spirit always seemed to be aimed at criticism and destruction rather than optimism and construction. We had the bad luck of being born at the ass end of a previous age of optimism, idealism and great social change, but the party of the 1960's was over and Gen X was the hangover.

Recently though, it does seem like there has been another sea-change in the general mood of the entire world. People are angry, certainly, and things are bad, yes, but there is also this feeling that the tiny individual can actually change the world for the better. This is the feeling that was almost completely absent during the formative years for many people from my generation X and I am glad to see it here once more. Whether it be the Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, or these young college-educated people buying small farms, I am really glad to see a return of the idea that the individual can make a difference.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Covers, Oddities and Separated at Birth: The Jesus Lizard conjures the spirit of Miles Davis

I might file this one under the ​Separated at Birth​ category... Because when The Jesus Lizard wrote Then Comes Dudley, they were certainly not out to write a cover song of a Miles Davis tune, but nevertheless, the similarity in the melody is unmistakable. Here is the Miles Davis song, ​Great Expectations, from the Bitches Brew sessions: And then here is The Jesus Lizard song, ​Then Comes Dudley. Stealing melodies has a long and generous tradition in the history of music... It is through theft and theft alone that we actually have melodies handed down to us from historical periods which would have otherwise been completely lost... It is only in the last forty years or so that record companies have begun thinking of these melodies as "property" which can be prosecuted if stolen. Much like Darwinian evolution, melody theft is literally how music evolves...

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Something From Nothing ? A Discussion between Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss

It is definitely worth your time this weekend to sit down with this discussion. Two of my favorite thinkers hold a two-hour discussion on the really big topics of life and the universe, as well as thoughts on the ever-expanding frontiers of those two hefty subjects.
Join critically-acclaimed author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins and world-renowned theoretical physicist and author Lawrence Krauss as they discuss biology, cosmology, religion, and a host of other topics.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

New Rule: Atheism is not a religion! - Bill Maher

Bill Maher was on fire with this segment. My favorite quote from it: "Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position."

Neil Young on Music in the Digital Age

It's interesting to see Neil Young weigh in on issues such as the degradation of sound quality in music heard as compressed MP3 files compared to the original uncompressed versions. But he also has some progressive ideas on how to deal with music piracy.